Afternoon wedding dress-code
The dress-code of an afternoon wedding is semi-formal which calls for cocktail dresses, LBDs or party dresses.
Fit-and-flare, sheath, high-low hem dresses or retro inspired (read 50s) are great choices for the cut. If you like to dance, go for a dress with a pleated or flare to circle skirt. Be sure to wear bikers in a matching color underneath to not show too much leg when you twirl. If there is a religious ceremony involved, don’t go strapless or spaghetti straps. If you absolutely want that dress, have a little cover-up like a jacket in the same fabric as your dress or a fancy coat.
Watch the fabric
Taffeta, tulle, chiffon, lace, jacquard or silk are great fabrics. Steer away from anything to daytime like cotton, jersey, or denim.
Avoid the color of the bridal party
Color-wise everything from pastel to gemstone bright colors goes. In the US, find out the color of the bridal party, so you do not choose the same color. Always avoid white unless you are the bride. In many European countries, wearing a LBD to a wedding would not be a good choice. In the US it is ok, when the vibe clearly states party. Medium sized (size of your hand) floral print cocktail dresses work well too with metallic pumps or pumps in a color of the print or dress.
Wear wedge heels at an outdoor wedding
If the party is outside, go for elegant wedge heels that match the vibe of your dress. They help you walk on the lawn and not to stick in the lawn. You want to wear the new shoes still after the wedding party is over. Peep toe pumps are a great option with shorter dresses. If the fabric of the dress is matte go for patent leather pumps in the same color of black. Nude patent leather is a great option for gemstone colored dresses. Blush or metallic pumps work nicely with pastel shade dresses. In the US, a black pants suit with chiffon top or a tuxedo are great choices too.
Don’t match the color of the clutch and shoes
Choose a bag in a different color than your shoes, unless you are in your twenties. On us 40+, matching bag and shoes looks so Seventies and screams Old Lady. A metallic clutch with patent leather heels or a patent leather clutch with metallic heels work. A sequin clutch with matte open-toe pumps all in neighbored colors of the color wheel or in the same color family are great combinations.
For a modern look, don't match the colors of your clutch and shoes. #advancedstyle Click To Tweet
Dim down the glam
Go for just one statement jewelry piece like a large cocktail ring, large dangling earrings or a statement necklace.
Be aware about the no-nos
Avoid the following four most often made style faux pas:
- Religious jewelry of your own faith when there will be a service of another faith.
- Skimpy or provocative clothes including corsages and belly-free attire except for saris.
- Jeans and T-shirts, baseball caps, large view-blocking hats.
- Casual footwear or bags to your otherwise semi-formal outfit.
Here are some outfit inspirations.
High-low hem lace cocktail dress with Neo Tango sandals (all own). The brooch attached to the tail of the skirt is unexpected and adds interest High-low hem floral print chiffon dress with beading and sequins and build-in lace slip, statement necklace and earrings, and Dalmatian Neo Tango print heels
Victoria Victoria Beckham cat print pleated drop-waist silk dress with pumps silk scarf, and statement necklace (all own) Banana Republic silk coat for cover up at an afternoon wedding. A tote permits carrying an extra pair of shoes for comfort. Make sure it matches the dress. Check the coat and tote at the coat rack
LOTD: Military inspired work outfit
I am wearing a military inspired black dress for work.
Will you attend a wedding this summer? Have you already picked the dress?
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Photos: G. Kramm
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